Is Your Horse at Risk for Infectious Disease?

Horses are at risk for contracting a number of diseases that can have mild to devastating consequences.
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Is Your Horse at Risk for Infectious Disease?
Horses are at risk for contracting a number of common diseases such as mild respiratory ailments (colds) and flu, along with others that can have mild to devastating consequences. | Photo: Photos.com

Like colds and the flu in humans, horses are at risk for contracting a number of common diseases such as mild respiratory ailments (colds) and flu, along with others that can have mild to devastating consequences. Fortunately, most of these diseases can be prevented or the symptoms reduced through preventive management. Here are the diseases you should watch out for.

Respiratory Infections

By far, the most likely infections a horse might get are respiratory diseases. “They are still the number one problem as far as contagious diseases go,” says Robert Hertzog, DVM. “It’s an ongoing, year-round problem.”

Of these, influenza and Streptococcus equi (strangles) are frequent assailants. Horses most at risk are those exposed to transient populations, those stressed by shipping or heavy training schedules, youngsters, and seniors

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Written by:

Marcia King is an award-winning freelance writer based in Ohio who specializes in equine, canine, and feline veterinary topics. She’s schooled in hunt seat, dressage, and Western pleasure.

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